Chris Sale will return to the White Sox mound Thursday against the Cubs for the first time since being suspended five games for cutting up his team’s 1976 throwback uniforms on Saturday.
The 27-year-old left-hander, who was issued a five-game suspension by the White Sox on Sunday for “violating team rules, for insubordination and for destroying team equipment,” will remain away from the team for the first three Crosstown games this week. Manager Robin Ventura said Sale would probably throw a side session sometime this week, but due to his suspension, any work will have to come on his own.
Ventura said he won’t necessarily have a discussion with Sale when the five-time All-Star returns to the club in the cramped confines of Wrigley Field’s visiting clubhouse later this week.
“He’s going to pitch. That’s what he does,” Ventura said. “I don’t think there has to be a big meeting or anything. He’s pitching Thursday.”
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Because of Sale’s bizarre pregame incident, the White Sox on Saturday had to use six relievers — Matt Albers, Dan Jennings, Tommy Kahnle, Zach Duke, Nate Jones and David Robertson — to get through eight innings before the game was suspended due to a line of heavy thunderstorms that rolled through the South Side. Robertson on Sunday pitched the ninth inning of the suspended game and the ninth of the regularly-scheduled contest against Detroit (he gave up three solo home runs to blow the save in the second game) and is likely unavailable for Monday night’s Crosstown opener against the Cubs.
White Sox players said they moved on quickly after Sale destroyed those uniforms he didn’t want to wear, pointing to the team’s two wins on Sunday for supporting evidence. And Ventura doesn’t think a team-wide meeting is necessary to address any issues when Sale does come back on Thursday.
“Guys have seen a lot of stuff and it’s about playing, I think they’re about playing and we’ll go with that until something needs to be addressed,” Ventura said. “As far as playing, guys are just moving on and playing.
“… I’m sure they’ll have conversations about it. But I don’t think we need to have a whole team meeting and address it that way.”